Insight into behavior displayed during deception

Aldert Vrij, G. Semin, Ray Bull

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Previous research suggests that liars are not aware that they tend to decrease their movements during deception. Moreover, it is unclear how liars will behave if someone informs them about their behavioral rigidity during deception, and to what extent several processes (tension, attempted behavioral control, and cognitive effort) are associated with deception. In the present experiment, subjects were interviewed twice. During one interview, they told the truth, and during the other interview, they lied. In the information-present condition, before both interviews, subjects were told that deception is usually associated with a decrease in movements. In the information-absent condition, no information was given. The results revealed that whereas subjects believed that they increased their movements during deception, a decrease in movements, in fact, occurred. Provision of information about deceptive behavior had no effect. The results also showed that a decrease in movements was associated with attempted control and cognitive load processes, and occurred independently from the tension experienced by deceivers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)544-562
Number of pages19
JournalHuman Communication Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1996


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